Conservative says White House turnover is because few people 'really believe' in Trump agenda

Conservative writer Bre Payton says the turnover among President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE's top staffers is because few people "really believe" in the president's agenda. 

“It’s just interesting that a lot of the movement people have gone to [Mike] Pence and not really for the West Wing and for the Trump administration,” Payton, a staff writer for The Federalist, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton during a panel discussion on Monday.

“I think the reason why you see so much discord and infighting and leaking, frankly, is because there’s not a lot of people that really believe in the things the president is trying to do,” she added.

Trump confirmed on Saturday that White House Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE will leave his job by the end of the year, marking the latest shake-up in the White House. Kelly has been in the job since July 2017.

Although Trump's White House has become known for frequent turnover among senior staff, Trump's predecessor, former President Obama, also had four chiefs of staff and one interim chief of staff during his eight years in office. 

Payton argues that the even though the chief of staff position used to offer a relatively easy rise to prominence, working at the White House has become less glamorous as the administration remains the subject of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna: 'I'm not there yet' on impeachment MORE's ongoing Russia investigation.  

“That’s really not the case in this kind of climate, and the more high profile you are, the worse it’s going to be for you because the swamp doesn’t like this president,” she said.

Democrats recently seized on court filings from Mueller's probe in which prosecutors said that attorney Michael Cohen violated campaign finance laws at then-candidate Trump’s direction.

Trump hit back on Monday, claiming that Democrats are "wrong" by calling a "simple private transaction" a campaign contribution, and insisted that Cohen's transactions were "done correctly." The president was referring to payments made by Cohen to two women who alleged affairs with Trump more than a decade ago.

“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James ComeyJames Brien ComeyAttorney General Barr puts former intel bosses on notice Christopher Steele's nugget of fool's gold was easily disproven — but FBI didn't blink an eye Clash with Trump marks latest break with GOP leaders for Justin Amash MORE’s testimony," Trump tweeted. "No Smocking Gun...No Collusion."

Democrats are expected to reopen a separate House investigation into the Trump campaign when they take back the House in January.  

–Tess Bonn

Updated on Dec. 12 at 8:42 a.m.